February of 2009 became a musical turning point for Julius Pittman. After enduring years of musical frustration, Julius aka ‘Ray’ was presented with the opportunity to form a band dedicated to revitalizing ‘Old School’ Rock & Soul sounds of the Memphis Stax Volt era. The formation of the core talent led to the release of their 2010 CD release “Bucket List”.
The ‘Revival’ features some of the most talented musicians in Virginia combined with the unique vocals of keyboardist/leader Julius Pittman which brings to the audience, sounds and dynamics reminiscent of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Buddy Miles, Jack Mack & The HeartAttack and Tower of Power.
The music the ‘Revival’ presents is a trip back to the days when musicians truely played their instruments without any limits.
What makes this band unique is the fact that each musician is given the freedom to ‘spread their wings’ and express their individual musical personality.
The ‘Revival’ features founder/keyboardist/vocalist Julius Pittman, guitarists Randy Moss and Velpo Robertson, bassist Audie Stanley, drummer Chris McIntyre, tenor sax player John Stanley, tenor/baritone sax player Howard Smith and trumpeter/flugelhorn Dave Triplett.
Bucket List - 2010
Julius Pittman & the Revival Drips with Southern Soul
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RICHMOND, VA – Southern soul singer/ keyboardist Julius Pittman & the Revival announce the May 25 re...RICHMOND, VA – Southern soul singer/ keyboardist Julius Pittman & the Revival announce the May 25 release of their debut CD, Bucket List. The new album includes four original songs, plus covers of Al Green’s “Tired of Being Along,” Jack Mack & the Heart Attack’s “Don’t Need No Reason” and “Willing to Learn,” Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers’ “Does Your Mama Know About Me” and Albert Collins’ “A Good Fool Is Hard to Find.”
The Julius Pittman & the Revival band lineup includes Julius Pittman on lead vocals and keyboards, Randy Moss on guitar, Audie Stanley on bass, Chris McIntyre on drums, John Stanley on tenor sax, Howard Smith on baritone and tenor sax and Dave Triplett on trumpet and flugelhorn.
Bucket List was produced by Julius Pittman and showcases his amazingly soulful vocals in a true southern soul setting. With horn arrangements that recall the best of the great horn bands (Chicago, Tower of Power, Jack Mack & the Heart Attack) of the past, Julius Pittman & the Revival create a rock and soul sound that’s as funky on the dance groove songs as it is tender on the ballads.
“My overall concept of the CD was to showcase the band’s influences over the years; hopefully, to gel into a Rock and Soul Revival, without forgetting our blues and jazz roots” says Pittman. “Al Green is one of my all-time favorites, and the first time I heard Jack Mack’s first album, Cardiac Party, I literally jumped out of my seat,” he recalls.
“I knew that’s the kind of band I wanted to be in.”
Talking about the other cover tunes, Pittman says “‘Does Your Mama Know About Me’ is just as relevant today as it was when Tommy Chong (of Cheech and Chong fame) wrote it when it was a top 30 hit for Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers. Guest tenor sax player Chuck Williams played with blues great Albert Collins for many years, and that’s how we brought ‘A Good Fool is Hard to Find’ into the mix.”
All members of the band are veterans of the Virginia area show-band and beach music scenes with extensive playing credentials. Julius Pittman grew up in Kilmarnock, Virginia and was releasing soul music singles by the time he was in high school.
Pittman’s testifying vocal style was influenced by soul singers Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and James Brown, among others. The raw production styles he heard on the Stax (in Memphis) and Fame (in Muscle Shoals) studio recordings were what his idea of sound was all about. He preferred the greasy and less polished sound that had originally driven his desire to be a singer. His funky Hammond B-3 organ style acknowledges a debt to Stevie Winwood, among others.
Julius Pittman & the Revival will continue to tour the southeast in support of the CD release, including a mix of beach music and blues clubs and festivals throughout the summer. The band is represented by Maeco Management (804-285-0809).
Some Southern Soul
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Bucket List is a fine example of an album and artist that should benefit from the recent surge in po...Bucket List is a fine example of an album and artist that should benefit from the recent surge in popularity enjoyed by Southern soul. The band is a solid seven members strong (Pittman on vocals, Hammond B-3 and electric piano, Randy Moss on guitars, Audie Stanley on bass, Chris McIntyre on drums and a horn section featuring John Stanley on tenor sax, Howard Smith on baritone and tenor saxes and Dave Triplett on trumpet and flugelhorn) and features some impressive guest contributions as well.
The greatest danger facing a band with that sort of lineup is simple overkill, but Bucket List does a very nice job with clean, punchy horn arrangements, a sweet mix between the horns, keys and vocals and some excellent production values. Pittman himself claims Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and James Brown as being among his vocal influences, and it truly shows. The influence even stretches beyond the stellar vocal work, again into the arrangements which are clean, effective and do as fine a job of using a horn section as I’ve heard in a while now. It certainly sounds as though these fellas are road tested fans of Southern soul.
The album runs a little short – a hair shy of 40 minutes, nine songs total – but what is presented is pure quality. Four originals, five covers (including Al Green’s Tired Of Being Alone, a surprising but impressive album opener). I found it hard to believe that this is the band’s debut release, even upon discovering that most of the members have extensive experience in other settings. They have the feel and sound of solid musicians who love what they’re doing and have already molded themselves into a strong and cohesive unit. I know that I, for one, will anxiously await future releases!
Julius Pittman & the Revival
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It's easy to see how someone would confuse blues and Southern soul because there is a great deal of ...It's easy to see how someone would confuse blues and Southern soul because there is a great deal of overlap. Blues singers can make Southern soul records and vice versa. And Southern soul act Julius Pittman and the Revival have at least one blues song on Bucket List, their new album - a cover of the Albert Collins classic "A Good Fool is Hard To Find,"
It would also be tempting to refer to the music on Bucket List as a retro soul record, but in the minds of many fans of the genre, Southern soul never went away. Bucket List becomes another in the ever growing catalog of Southern soul records. Bucket List is also a good representative of the genre, featuring covers of Southern soul classics such as "Tired of Being Alone," by Al Green - perhaps the most famous Southern soul singer. The album also includes a cover of "Does Your Mama Know About Me," a song written by Tommy Chong. Both songs showcase the band's ability to address the topic of love in its varying themes and tempos.
The band reveals its fun and funky side on the bouncy tune "Sideshow," an original which tells the story of a down home guy who finds himself at a party with a bunch of snobs. The horn work in that song will bring to mind the work of iconic 1970s bands such as Tower of Power . One of my favorite parts of this album is that Pittman and his band mates use the music to show the debt that Southern soul owes to both gospel and blues music. Modern music seems to have moved so far away from those genres that it is somehow hard to remember that gospel and blues is the root of it all. Bucket List is roots music that confirms that the Southern soul genre is alive, vibrant and well.
Vocals: 2.5 stars
Music: 3.5 stars
Lyrics: 3.0 stars
Production: 3.0 stars
Soultracks call: Recommended
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There’s been a steady stream of releases over the past year or two spotlighting soul music. To most ...There’s been a steady stream of releases over the past year or two spotlighting soul music. To most blues fans, that’s a good thing, since many blues fans (yours truly among them) actually moved toward the blues from soul music. In my case, the sounds of ’60s soul from Stax, Atlantic, Fame, Motown, and others provided a springboard to the blues. That’s why it’s always a pleasure when a new soul disc hits the racks.
Julius Pittman & the Revival is one of those groups keeping the soul sound alive. Based in Virginia, where most of the members were involved in the local show band and beach music scene, the group’s debut release, Bucket List, is a refreshing walk down memory lane with a great set of ’60s southern soul and ’70s rock and soul.
The disc is a mix of originals and covers. The covers include a smoking version of Al Green’s “Tired Of Being Alone,” a pair of tunes (“Don’t Need No Reason” and “Willing To Learn”) from Jack Mack & the Heart Attack, a big influence on the band, Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers’ “Does Your Mama Know About Me” (written by Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong fame), and Albert Collins’ “A Good Fool Is Hard To Find.”
The originals range from “Sideshow,” which has a strong horn section reminiscent of Chicago and Tower of Power, to “Part Time Lover,” which mixes a bit of New Orleans second line with the horns and some tasty Hammond B3 to a pair of soul ballads (“Love Came Out of Nowhere” and “Love Changes Like The Weather”).
Pittman does a wonderful job on vocals and plays a mean Hammond B3. The Revival is a tight six-man unit (Randy Moss – guitar, Audie Stanley – bass, Chris McIntyre – drums, John Stanley – tenor sax, Howard Smith – baritone and tenor sax, Dave Triplett – trumpet, flugelhorn) and they augmented on several tracks by more horns (Lee Quisenberry – trombone, trumpet, Hugh “Chuck” Williams – tenor sax), keyboards (J. W. Belden – grand piano, synths), percussion (Alejandro Diequez) and backing vocals (Sharon Dennis, Curtis Swisher).
Fans of old school soul from the late ’60s and the great horn bands of the ’70s (Tower of Power, Chicago, etc.) will want to get their hands on Bucket List. If you reside in the southeastern part of the U.S., look for Julius Pittman & the Revival this summer. Visit the band’s website at www.juliuspittmanrevival.com.
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This is a white soul group possessing a devilish way in establishing fundamental grooves and keeping...This is a white soul group possessing a devilish way in establishing fundamental grooves and keeping to them, even during the balladic numbers. Right from the start, in Tired of Being Alone, the listener is pulled into the cadence and set to boppin' a la the old Sons of Champlin or Stoneground until the vocal portion drops out and you realize you were really hearing a Willie & the Hand Jive boogie crossed with an Allman Bros. fundament. A Good Fool is Hard to Find swings even harder, and then the Al Green element slides in on "Does Your Mama Know about Me", peppered with just a touch of jazzy Marshall Tucker as the cut closes out (especially in that uncredited flute—or is it a synth? If so, J.W. Belden has it down!).
Lead singer Julius Pittman also mans a righteous Hammond in a septet that includes three horns (and a generous session back-up ensemble). Though he can hit an emotional plane of rising urgency and plaintive wail, the atmosphere is smooth and cool. Guitarist Randy Moss could've been set loose a bit more often, carrying a really nice bite in his leads, but, then, no one's given too much, as the entire emphasis is on each song as a whole unit, a good formula keeping Pittman center stage, where the compositions concentrate. This is old Motown / Fillmore material and needs that ambiance.
Chicago, Tower of Power, and Jack Mack & the Heart Attack are cited as influences, but I also hear Rastus, Chase, Ambergris, Ballinjack, Mandrill, and a bunch of the neglected 70s horn rock bands as well. There is indeed a testifyin' vibe through the entire release so that, yes, Otis and Brother James Brown are quite vividly recalled, especially in intensities reached in Love Came out of Nowhere. I've noted elsewhere that the soul revival is on (catch the recent review of Tad Robinson [here]) and, given this and about a dozen other CDs across the last couple years, there are going to be a lot of new ears cropping up for the estimable old sound, so ease that Fairlane down the road, and someone see if they can't hunt Wolfman Jack and XERB up on the radio
Julius Pittman & The Revival - Bucket List
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Julius Pittman’s incredibly good CD immediately raised two issues: First, instead of a Soul fan list...Julius Pittman’s incredibly good CD immediately raised two issues: First, instead of a Soul fan listening to a cover of a classic song like Al Green’s “Tired of Being Alone,” why not just play the original? Secondly, is it possible to record an album with old school stereo separation between left and right speakers like we first heard back when stereo replaced monaural?
Virginia show band and beach music veteran Julius Pittman opens the set with Al Green’s “Tired of Being Alone” done deftly, but in pretty much the original arrangement and vocal style. While that might put off a few, I found it a great sounding reminder of that wonderful song. Also, there are bound to be new listeners out there buying a new CD like Pittman’s unfamiliar with Al Green. I’ll guarantee my daughters born after 1980 have not heard this song. Honestly, I had never heard Robert Johnson’s “Love in Vain” until the Rolling Stones covered it on 1969’s “Let It Bleed” vinyl album. I did now what I did then, I dug back and enjoyed both the original and the new cover.
Whatever happened to discrete stereo separation? Today’s CDs are mixed with almost everything coming right down the middle and only a little uniqueness in each separate channel. “Bucket List” is a refreshing and pleasing reminder of the joyous days of leaving my mono record player behind and playing my new Zenith stereo with short, round speaker towers. It is pretty cool to hear guitar and muted trumpet over there, saxophone and organ over here, and Julius Pittman’s testifying vocal style coming down the middle. For the complete retro-stereo experience, listen through headphones!
Julius Ray Pittman, enduring years of musical frustration, in 2009, saw the opportunity to form a band dedicated to revitalizing Old School Rock & Soul sounds of the Memphis Stax / Volt era. Their 2009 recording “Bucket List” brings sounds and dynamics reminiscent of West Coast horn bands Jack Mack & The Heart Attack and Tower of Power, also sounds of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and Buddy Miles.
“My overall concept of the CD was to showcase the band’s influences over the years; hopefully, to gel into a Rock and Soul Revival, without forgetting our blues and Jazz roots,” says Pittman. “Al Green is one of my all-time favorites, and the first time I heard Jack Mack’s first album, “Cardiac Party,” I literally jumped out of my seat,” he recalls. “I knew that’s the kind of band I wanted to be in.”
Pittman wrote four originals that accompany five inspired covers. Following “Tired Of Being Alone,” horns kick start Jack Mack & The Heart Attack’s “Don't Need No Reason.” B-3 Organ, horns, Pittman’s vocals – the song just soars!
The most powerful ballad in the show is Jack Mack & The Heart Attack’s “Willing To Learn,” perfect for a slow-dance with someone special or singing along with Julius' incredible vocal take.
The second-line beat pumping up original tune “Part Time Lover” should fill dance floors while Tommy Chong’s slow dancer “Does Your Mama Know About Me” is as poignant and relevant as it was when Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers recorded it. Guest tenor Saxman Hugh “Chuck” Williams, a veteran of Albert Collins’ band, brought “A Good Fool Is Hard To Find” into the mix for some killer Rock and Soul.
The Revival features the unique vocals of keyboardist/leader Julius Pittman, guitarist Randy Moss, bassist Audie Stanley, drummer Chris McIntyre, tenor sax player John Stanley, tenor/baritone sax player Howard Smith, and trumpeter/flugelhorn Dave Triplett. Six additional players are studio guests for keys, horns, percussion, and background vocals.
What music fan doesn’t enjoy the sound of great music? This just happens to be great old school soul from the late 60s and the great horn bands of the 70s. Enjoy “Bucket List’s”
Incredibly well done remakes, and to Julius the producer, thank you for that old school stereo – that discrete, it’s allreet!
* Tired of being alone
* Here I am
* Lets stay together
* Love and Happiness
* Midnight Hour
* She’s lookin good
* Mustang Sally
* 10th ave Freeze-out
* Mary’s Place
Jack Mack and the Heart Attack
* Don’t need no reason
* Hooray for the city
* True lovin woman
* Willin to learn
Sam and Dave
* You got me hummin
Jr Walker and the All Stars
Average White Band
* Pick up the Pieces
* Cold Sweat
* Man’s World
* Livin in america
* Long Train Runnin
* I’ll take you there
* A Good Fool is hard to find
* Knock on wood
* Statesboro Blues
* Pretzel logic
* My old school
* I got news
Sly and the family Stone
* Simple Song
* Them Changes
* Sweet Home Chicago
* 634 5789
* Chain of Fools
* Kansas City
Derek Trucks Band
* Sweet Inspiration
Robert Randolf and the Family Band
* I need more love
* Be Good to yourself
Julius Pittman and the Revival Originals
* Ain’t what you’ve got
* Part time lover
* Floresent Orange Shoes
* Love came out of nowhere
* Love changes like the weather
* Dancing Lady
* Miss lovin her
* I can feel it coming